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Americans and divorce after 50

More Americans over the age of 50 are getting divorced than ever before. Research shows that the number of people getting divorced has been on the rise for those over 50 for the past two decades. Men and women in Massachusetts may continue to see the trend of increased divorce in the 50+ age group as time goes on and life spans increase.

Fifty years ago, statistics reveals that of Americans above the age of 50, just 2.8 percent had gotten a divorce. Today, that number has skyrocketed to 15.4 percent. Although it is argued that the risk of divorce decreases the longer a couple stays married, the numbers portray a different story.

A comprehensive analysis of the general divorce rate reveals an overall drop in activity on a national level. However, one in four divorces represent those over 50. According to researchers, the change is rooted in several contemporary demographic and societal shifts. The fact that more woman are in the workplace and don't have to stay in a marriage for financial stability is just one factor that attributes to the change. Healthy lifestyles and longer life spans also contribute to the rise in divorce; the risk remains possible for a greater length of time.

The sociologists that study this change refer to the development as "gray divorce revolution." Whether the commonality continues, remains to be seen. There are many reasons that Massachusetts' residents may seek a divorce. Protecting individual rights in the midst of change is an important aspect of negotiating a fair and comprehensive settlement.

Source: The New York Times, Divorce After 50 Grows More Common, Sam Roberts, Sept. 20, 2013

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